Writing Exercise: “In Defense of ‘Moist'”

ENG 326 Writing Poetry: Intermediate University of North Carolina at Greensboro Fall 2017 8/15 Writing Exercise: “In Defense of ‘Moist’” Read the poem “In Defense of ‘Moist’” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib and discuss. Recall your favorite or least favorite word from the Introductions handout. If you selected your favorite word, title your poem “Against ‘[the word]’”; […]

Presentation & Handouts for Lecture: “It’s Alive: Why Poetry Still Matters”

On Wednesday, November 16, I gave the lecture “It’s Alive: Why Poetry Still Matters” at Rutherford Hall in Allamuchy, New Jersey. Here are the materials for that talk: Slide Presentation: “It’s Alive: Why Poetry Still Matters” Handout for Audience Discussion This talk also transformed into my November 2016 blog post for Ploughshares, “Truth & Dread: […]

Form’s Relationship to Subject Matter + “Escape in Brilliant Highways: A Form Imitation Exercise”

Genre: Poetry Purpose: To consider how form changes meaning, emphasis, and tone; to practice imitation Readings: “Envy of Other People’s Poems” by Robert Hass along with excerpts of poems by Larry Levis, Terrance Hayes, Natalie Diaz, Lynda Hull, George Oppen, and Linda Gregerson Let’s look at “Envy of Other People’s Poems” by American poet Robert […]

“I look in the mirror and hold up my mangled hand”: An Adversarial Persona Exercise

Genre: Poetry Purpose: To consider how persona, point of view, voice, argument, and empathy can support and/or complicate one another Readings: “Skinhead” by Patricia Smith Watch Patricia Smith perform “Skinhead”: https://youtu.be/Klb5TniRGao. Discuss. Jot down some notes about a situation in which you found yourself in direct opposition with someone else. Perhaps it’s as extreme as […]

“Ornithology” Poetry Analysis and Imitation Exercise

Class: Introduction to Creative Writing (The College of William & Mary) Genre: Poetry Purpose: To become more scrupulous readers of poetry In order to prepare my Intro to Creative Writing students for talking more about poetry with regard to the author’s intentionality before their poetry workshop, I’m asking them to read and examine the poem […]